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I am building new Cabinets for are Kitchen and Like the Look of Butcher Block Tops, although very expensive, I would like to attempt to build my Owne. What are some tips, I was also woundering what would be the best way to Combine the Woods. Just Glue, or Biskets Joinery? Iam looking at the Tops being 72" x 25, I could buy these but would like to try and build them myself. This section of Cabinet is going to be a Center Island. I may not do all the Cabinets in Butcher Block, Just the Island.
 

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If you are building the cabinets you likely have table saw, clamps etc.

A laminated counter top is not easy to make flat and straight.

If the edges are straight and no gaps between the pieces, then glue is all you need. A good glue joint is stronger than the wood.

With the length and desire to have the pieces clamp level, I would use dowels for alignment or cauls. You need something to keep the pieces aligned during the glue-up.

You could also use these style of clamps.

http://www.woodcraft.com/product/2000321/1858/woodriver-clamping-system.aspx

I would glue a set of sub-assemblies with 2 or 3 pieces, then glue the sub-assemblies together paying careful attention to straight, flat and no bowing from side to side.

Sanding the completed assembly can be difficult to get a nice flat work surface. You may end up needing to make a router sled.

I would give serious consideration to purchasing a top for the island. Grizzly have inexpensive laminated tops.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/Solid-Maple-Cabinet-Top-72-Wide-x-25-Deep-x-1-1-2-High/H9690
 

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i wouldn't use wood near the sink, unless you don't mind the maintenance that will be required to keep it nice, especially if you plan to varnish. at least i never found anything that will hold up more than 2 years without a touch-up.

island would be good.
 

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I have a kitchen island like this on my to-do list. I will likely handle in the way Dave suggests with just glue using clamps and cauls, then final smoothing with a router sled.
 

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When you say "butcher block", it's not clear if you mean true butcher block with end grain up, or an edge grain "bowling alley" glueup.

Either is doable, though the first is much more work. As was mentioned, either one takes some special consideration around a wet sink.

Here is an endgrain one (been posted here before, I think), about 11 lineal feet, with over 700 8/4 x 3" blocks:

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Butcher Block Top

Ed_h, Dam I love the Look, Is that a Copper sink? I am going with the Glue up and dowels, I will have to Barrow some Claps, I only have like 10. I also Will build a Sled for my router and take several Passes to get flat. I saw On a Older post where someone built a Sled, they used for there Top on there Garage workbench, It looked real nice. I have a Shot at getting some 2" thick Hickory if I can get it at the same price,he wanted 1.5 years ago, and if he still has it. If not I will have to get something else. I have some Hard Maple, But not nearly enough. I will have to check and see whats out there in my uncle's shop. He had a bunch of scrap Cherry, and Walnut.
 

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Splinter--

Sounds like you are doing some good planning. You might consider biscuits instead of dowels. Neither one adds much strength, but are more for alignment, and biscuits may be easier to place accurately. Dowels have to be really accurately placed in two dimensions, while a biscuit is pretty forgiving in one.

Yes, that's a site-built copper sink.

Ed
 

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ed h - what finish did you use? how often does it need touched up (at least around the sink), or refinished?
that does look nice!
 

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ed h - what finish did you use? how often does it need touched up (at least around the sink), or refinished?
that does look nice!

Tim--most of the counter top is just finished by applying mineral oil and letting it soak in. My wife does this every few weeks. The top has absorbed quarts of the stuff over the years.

Around the faucets and around the sink edge, though, I applied three coats of a good Urethane. You can see the color difference.

This isn't a kitchen, it is in a "sun room", and gets used mainly to tend to plants. The counter top is probably ten years old now, and holding up well, though it will stain. We've found a few fertilizers that will leave dark marks on it.
 
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